Don't worry, Congressional pay is protected from 'sequester' cuts

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
78,491
27,315
898
Seattle
#1
Why Congress protected its own pay in the sequester deal
By NCC Staff | National Constitution Center – 2 hrs 8 mins ago


Congressional staffers face layoffs and furloughs in two weeks, but Congress members made sure their own paychecks were safe when passing the “sequester law” in 2011.

Technically, the mandatory cuts to military and domestic federal spending are part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The act contained a “poison pill”–the threat of stark budget cuts by January 2013 in the form of what’s known as the sequester.

That threat was pushed back to March 1, 2013, as part of a compromise made in January. But now, barring a last-second deal, it looks like the sequester will happen.

The sequestration of funds requires that most government agencies cut their budgets by the same percentage across the board. Currently, the cuts add up to $1.2 trillion over a decade.

Right now, non-military government agencies need to cut their costs by 8.2 percent starting on March 1, 2013. Defense branches will have to cut costs by 9.4 percent. (Those percentages could be lower for the first year of cuts.)

Last fall, President Barack Obama’s administration gave a detailed report, via the Office of Management and Budget, about which agencies had to cut costs–and which government folks were exempt.

“The number of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, Customs and Border Patrol agents, correctional officers, and federal prosecutors would be slashed. The Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to oversee and manage the Nation’s airspace and air traffic control would be reduced,” said the OMB.

Included in the mandatory cuts are expenses the members of Congress use to hire and maintain their staffs. In all, the operational expenses for Congress add up to $133 million annually.

Staffers face 22 days of furloughs, which add up to about a 20 percent pay cut for them, and layoffs lurk as a possibility.

Unless, of course, you are an actual member of Congress. Your pay can’t be cut as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act.

So why are the “bosses” in Congress not suffering with the staff, at least not until later this spring?

The 27th Amendment to the Constitution forbids Congress from changing its own pay during a current term of Congress. The sequester “poison pill” in the 2011 Budget Control Act was scheduled to go into effect on January 2, 2013, the last day of the prior Congress.

The actual rules for who gets sequestered, and who doesn’t, are set by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act of 1985, as amended. The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 can also be a factor when a sequester goes into effect.

Congressional pay is just one of many programs that will be exempt from cuts. According to the Congressional Research Service, “Most exempt programs are mandatory, and include Social Security and Medicaid; refundable tax credits to individuals; and low-income programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Supplemental Security Income.”

Somehow, Congress found a way to delay its own pay, possibly until January 2015, by agreeing to put its pay in escrow on April 16, 2013, as part of the fiscal cliff deal. Even that act has been subject to a vigorous debate as a possible violation of the 27th Amendment, and it could be challenged if the budget deadlock drags out.
http://news.yahoo.com/why-congress-protected-own-pay-114217660.html
 

ruckstande

Posts mostly from the shitter.
Apr 2, 2005
14,888
4,434
678
South Jersey
#2
Blood in the streets.
I would not be at all upset if a terrorist organization targeted public officials and took them out of our misery. I wouldn't do it or even condone it but wouldn't shed a tear either.
 

jrsaint

Registered User
Feb 13, 2006
1,537
362
523
right behind you
#3
Blood in the streets.
I would not be at all upset if a terrorist organization targeted public officials and took them out of our misery. I wouldn't do it or even condone it but wouldn't shed a tear either.
I was wondering how the public was surprised when some guy went into the capital and started shooting the place up. I was thinking how come it hasn't happened earlier.
 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
17,843
5,188
838
Wilmington, NC
#4
Blood in the streets.
I would not be at all upset if a terrorist organization targeted public officials and took them out of our misery. I wouldn't do it or even condone it but wouldn't shed a tear either.
Hmmm....perhaps a "well-regulated militia"? ;)

Ultimately, I wouldn't condone it or take part in it and I don't need the black SUVs pulling up in my driveway. But technically, the citizens are this country's (and Constitution's) last line of defense against tyranny. So, no wonder they want to disarm the public as they set this country up for an economic catastrophe...we would be defenseless and they could impose and install whatever bullshit they want. Different story when they've got ARs of the Constitution-lovers pointed in their direction.
 

weeniewawa

it's a man, baby!!!
May 21, 2005
12,076
1,267
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Hell,California
#5
bin 0bama's pay is protected too. and the amount of "cuts" is so small in reality, they are just making a huge deal about it to get the House to raise taxes again.
 

VicVinegar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2012
1,578
636
163
#7
Political appointees are also exempt.

And as someone who is in the middle of this mess, there is a lot of posturing going on. It really isn't clear what will really happen. I do know some federal employees have been informed that they should expect a furlough.